Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wine tasting

I walked up to the door, a half an hour late to the party, hoping my offering was still cold enough. It had taken me over an hour to get there. We were 9 people gathered at a friend’s house to celebrate the last days of summer and taste wine. Planned months in advance we were to taste Sauvignon Blanc, a perfect summer sipper. (Never mind that the temperature was to dip into the 40s.) Everyone was to bring a bottle. I had dashed to the wine shop in the morning and agonized over the selection not knowing what to pick. I knew I wanted a NZ wine from Marlborough. In the end, I randomly picked. It had a funny label.

The host relieved me of the wine as soon as I came in and taped a piece of paper with a number to the bottle, covering the label. We were handed pencils and a scoring sheet. Our wine glasses had our names on paper skirts.

We tried the first wine and looked nervously at our score cards. We were to rate each wine according to color, nose, legs, 1st taste, finish and an overall rating. The scale was 1-5: 1 was rot gut and 5 was melt in your mouth. We peered, sniffed, swirled, swished and sipped. What we found was that everyone’s palate is different. Something that I found awful, someone else liked. It is totally subjective.

There were 6 wines. I’ll skip ahead.

The favorite wine was a NZ 2006 Monkey Bay (the one I brought-wahoo.). The 2nd was a Francis Coppola 2005 Yellow label. There were 2 Australian wines, another New Zealand, and a Chilean. Some people had read up and made their selection based on reviews, while others picked theirs because the host and hostess are movie buffs. As I mentioned I liked the label.
We talked about trying Rieslings next time or Syrahs. It was a fun evening and we all learned something, laughed a lot, bluffed our way through the herbaceous versus fruity nose and made jokes about stubble on the legs as they were not smooth enough.

Have you hosted a tasting? How did you do yours?

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